13:28 PM

A Lot to Applaud with Nursing Student’s Graduation

By Dan Silvia

A wall of Bellevue University faculty and staff, all clad in purple robes, cheers on graduating students as they exit the Mid-America Center following the commencement ceremony. If all has gone as planned, this isn’t the first time students have encountered supportive staffers during their time at the University.

Dana Corwin discovered just that as she navigated the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, graduating with a 4.0 grade point average in Spring 2018. Corwin had praise for faculty and staff from her first interaction with the University all the way to the last.

An online student from Mayville, New York, Corwin first became aware of Bellevue University when a friend pitched it to her following a presentation at a local government office. Kerri Brown, Bellevue University’s representative at nearby Jamestown Community College, reached out to Corwin directly to let her know the details about what Bellevue University had to offer.

Once enrolled, Student Coach Holly Richie helped keep Corwin on the right track.

“She was unbelievable. She called me at home in New York to check in with me,” Corwin said. “She gave me reminders and information and support that was so helpful! I really valued that service and Holly was fantastic in every way.”

Dr. Kim Meisinger, the director for the nursing program, as well as Associate Professor Michelle Bahr, and Adjunct Professor Laurel Chadek all received praise from Corwin covering a wide of range of classes in her undergraduate experience.

“Dr. Meisinger, the department chair, was wonderful. She was encouraging and supportive, giving quick and ready communication. She was an amazing professor and such an important role model,” Corwin said. “Her ability to model the professional side of nursing and the academia was inspiring. Cool, calm, and collected, she has a strong personification of strength and grace. Her approach is collaborative, and her organizational skills and mentoring are awesome.”

While Bahr and Chadek don’t teach in the nursing program, their impact occurred while Corwin completed general education requirements and the Kirkpatrick Signature Series. Bahr taught an oral communications course that impressed Corwin, already an experienced public speaker.

“I have been doing public speaking for almost 15 years. Her feedback was so helpful, and she was very encouraging,” Corwin said. “You know you have learned new skills when you start to dissect others presentation skills and mentally check them off as they unfold in front of you.”

The Kirkpatrick Signature Series is a collection of three courses focused on American government and civics. Adjunct Chadek helped guide Corwin through the course.

“The timeliness of the feedback was crucial, since the content is not my major. The ability to have your work validated and commented on quickly, helped to ease my insecurities in this civics course,” Corwin said. “I applaud the university leadership for making this a core requirement and initiating citizenship in the education at Bellevue.”

The Nursing program was accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education just as Corwin was finishing up her degree requirements.

“I appreciate the implications of achieving accreditation and was very interested in the process,” she said. “Personally, it paves the way to pursue a master’s degree in nursing.”

Corwin works in Chautauqua County, New York on the southwest side of the state where she is the director of aging health services for the local agency on aging.

“I love the ability to understand and work with the social determinates of health and effect change in managing the challenges of community health,” Corwin said. “I also adore the population I work with. If I have done my job well, the people I am working for feel empowered, capable and engaged in improving and maintain their independence and dignity.”

While Corwin is across the country and graduation is in the rear view mirror, Bellevue University faculty and staff are still applauding her efforts.